The Gardens of Chiconia 7

I realise with some dismay that I’ve been neglecting my garden posts.

Various other projects and cooking have been consuming my blogging time, but I haven’t been neglecting my garden. Each morning when I water, I’m out there talking to the plants, pulling up weeds, wreaking vengeance on grasshoppers and tying up the latest long shoot on the passionfruit vine. Each morning, I marvel at how fast things grow here. I get what I would formerly have considered a season’s growth in just a few weeks. For example:

Ducasse banana now

Ducasse banana now

Musa acuminata x balbisiana var. awak (Ducasse, or Pisang Awak banana)

Ducasse banana when I first planted it

Flame Tree now

Flame Tree now

The flame tree has got yet another bunch of new leaves at the top and is a good 30cm taller than when I bought it.

The flame tree shortly after I bought it

Passionfruit vine now

Passionfruit vine now


The passionfruit vine about a month after I planted it

The avocado tree has finally decided that its living conditions are acceptable, the supply of water and nutrients is sufficient and that it can’t let the mango tree take all its sunshine. There are several new shoots and leaf buds coming out.  Progress at last! I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever see it do anything – it’s been three months and nothing happening. The mango, of course, is being legendary, and the lychee is looking healthy and happy and green and lush after all my worry.

Dwarf mango now

Dwarf mango now

Baby mango

The mango tree when I first got it

I have some digging to do today, assuming my back will hold up. I slipped recently, and to try and save myself, stiffened my back at an odd angle. Well, I didn’t fall, but I did injure myself, a fact which became apparent a few hours later. Now, until the anti-inflammatories kick in after breakfast, I hobble around like someone even more ancient than usual, can’t bend over, can’t get up from my chair without pain and definitely can’t dig. So I just have to wait to become pain free and then I’ll be out there with my fork.

We’re getting the patio ready for the nosh-fest on Christmas day. Once the shed’s finished, I can put into it the litter of tools, seeds, watering cans, brooms, and other garden-related detritus currently forming a thick mulch on most available surfaces. The Husband demands to know how big I think the shed is? Big enough for that, especially after I’ve put a shelf unit in there. Ah me, another thing to assemble. Then we have to move the swing seat, pull the 3 metre table away from the wall and start assembling the chairs. 14 are required at the latest count, but we may go down to a mere 12 if our two outside guests pull out. The husband wants to come, I think, but the wife isn’t too sure about inserting herself into a large, noisy Italian family Christmas.

It’s almost a pity we’re not having a late dinner, because it’s looking extremely pretty out there at night, with the soft glow of solar lights, and the sight of the Christmas tree twinkling through the window, the sound of cicadas and the trickle of the fountain. Still, by dark, the last die-hards will probably have left, and we can enjoy it quietly with a sense of relief and satisfaction. I’m looking forward to getting everyone together, but I suspect I’ll be even happier when they all go home….

Avocado tree, finally producing some new twigs and leaf buds

Avocado tree, finally producing some new twigs and leaf buds

I must see if I can cajole some more plants out of my long suffering spouse. There are some bare patches (where I have to dig today) which are calling out for something lush and lovely that likes wet feet – it’s where the air conditioner drains, and while that’s on, there’s always a little trickle of water. Hostas would be perfect, but it also gets a good bit of sunshine, so they’re out. I’d really like a big papyrus, but haven’t seen any around. I shall have to do a bit of careful selection.

We’ve finished work on the shed for the day. All my gardening bits are now racked inside it, and the place is starting to look much tidier. We’ve built a shelf unit to go inside, and tomorrow – if we feel like it – we’ll put together and instal the door. But only if we feel like it…

Time for some gentler activities, I feel.

6 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 7

  1. Great post and AWESOME photos!

    • katechiconi says:

      Thanks, Lonnie. I’m so impressed with the progress that mango tree has made – in only 3 months! We bought it on the way home from the World Rally Championships in September, and look at it now… It’s my star performer, with a couple of others fairly close behind.

  2. Jen Gardener says:

    Wow, yes the mango tree in a stand out! And the passionfriut has gone crazy too. Love the before and after photos Kate.

  3. The before and after pics are great! Christmas Day at your place sounds like good fun- Merry Christmas.

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